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Well it finally happen to us

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    We were taken out by a low baller or should I say the king of lowballer's. We plowed a church for the past 4 years. They were always happy with us, never a complaint etc. I called today to see the progress of the contract and the lady who is in charge of it said "I'm sorry but they went with someone else". We talked for a bit and I asked who got it, never heard of them and she told me the price, I about choked on my chew. I'll share number's now b/c who cares at this point...this lot took even me just over 2hr each 2-4" storm and a bit longer with more snow. We were doing them a favor at 85.00 per time, there's probably close to 2 acres of plowing. His price.....are you sitting down?-----40 bucks! Plus this idiot tries to cover a 20 mile radius. What an idiot! Thats fine, I can do, oh, about 20 more driveway now that average 20 bucks. So 85 bucks in 2hrs or 400 bucks,lol:laughing: Have fun DIPSH!T.
  2. dodge2500

    dodge2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I would say your $85 bucks was real cheap already. We have been beat up a lot on pricing this year. Oh well I would rather sit at home than work for free.
  3. fci

    fci Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    I have had similar things happen to me this year. Let the low ballers take what they can this year. Next year I will buy their equipment for 50% of what it's worth! when they are out of business.
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Don't worry they'll be calling you back..... just make sure you raise your rate because great service costs more!....

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    They come and go.
  6. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    We used to do a church as well....one of the brethren came in that is also a maintenance co just like one of the old owners. About 2.5-3 acre lot, he salts for 100$ per application, plows for less then 1/2 of us and cuts the grass real cheap too!

    They are unhappy with his service but cheap gets the bid. Dropped our price a little back 2 years ago but wasn't enough to keep it.
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Like I said in many other posts.....looking for another line of work! It will keep getting worse and worse. Hears my thoughts as to why....There are more and more lawn care services around b/c there are more and more lay offs. The more lawn care companies there are the more employee's there are who, after a few years think the heck with this I can do this on my own who then go out buy a truck to tow they're little trailer around then buy a plow and plow a handful of places at a fraction to whats it's worth compared to a legit company with the usual expenses. Yeah if all I had were fuel, (maybe minimal at best insurance) and an occasional repair costs I could compete. I don't think this company has a clue as to what to charge. after talking to a friend of mine who know's him, I guess he is doing this all over the place. Its probably the same idiot who is charging 27/hr plowing commercial lots around here per a very reliable source. Again have at it, while your making you whoppin' 40 bucks I will be adding another zero to that number.
  8. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I agree, and there seems to be new nationals popping up everyday as well, driving down the prices even more. We have a company that is based 200 miles away, doing a major home/lumber supply store in my town. They lease a skid, put their own boxblade and three point spreader on it, hire whoever they can get locally to run it, at 9-12 dollar per hour, and do salt drops for him after each storm. He does the entire lot himself. They have had the contract for 3 or 4 years and there is always once or twice during the winter, when the guy doesn't show up, for whatever reason, and the place will be a disaster for 1 or two days. I have talked to the manager and even their main office service branch, wanting to bid it, but they keep them every year. Won't even except a bid. Go figure.
  9. neplow

    neplow Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    85 dollars was already lowballing it. The guy that took it is donating to the church.

    i would probably plow a church for free, or near free. Long as i liked the church. Praise the lord, i shouldn't make money on jesus.

    might end up going to hell.
  10. My bowtie

    My bowtie Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    So a lawn care co isn't a legit co.? Really?? I have the same expenses as you, might not be as high as yours, but the same neverless. Because my overhead is lower and I can make the same proffit margin as u by having a lower price, I dont have a clue what to charge?? I think its a good idea your looking for another line of work...
  11. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Interesting thoughts.
  12. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Wow! you act as if I was directly speaking to you, about you. Once again someone reading what they want to read. No one said lawn care companies aren't legit. Why would you even think that? I would hope a "company" with one truck, one mower and one of everything would have a lower overhead BUT does that mean you go around doing things half price or less. It's called knowing what your market will bring but if thats your philosophy then I guess your part of the problem.
  13. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    And and and, one day when your little company is "all growed up" and you have higher overhead, you too will lose a place just like this........ it's not all about margin, it's about knowing where you want to be in 5 years time. Margin is a good thing and the more of it the better. You want to live to see another day, don't deflate the marketplace.

    Messages: 79

    I find this interesting because the first thing I read on every post when some one ask a price question is

    Know your cost to do business .

    so if a man with one truck one shovel and working out of his garage prices a job cheaply because he has low over head he is called a low baller.
  15. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    My bid wouldve been over 2 bills with salt. This coming from a lawn care guy. I do think we charge a bit more up here though. I wouldnt give a church a discount either. There a business just like any other except with tax breaks.
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    UMMMM yes I think so. Knowing your cost is one thing, knowing what your area will bring is another. A 5-10 dollar difference is one thing but leaving over half on the table is just stupid. As more and more of the "guys with one truck working out of their garage" as you put it do this it only brings everything down because when they realize their price was way too low and decide to get out everyone else who is still in it is dealing with lower and lower prices. Just because you work out of your garage with one truck why do you devalue your services?

    Messages: 79

    Oh I agree with you on it 100 percent .i work out of my garage with low over head but my truck gets 100 an hour plowing and if i have to get out and shovel that's 40 an hour

    I just find it interesting instead of helping people price correctly so many just tell them to know there over head and price accordingly

    I probably over price my work but I stay busy with what I have and make a living at it
  18. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    yeah damn... we've never billed under $150 per hour of anything we've plowed in NJ... even bigger church parking lots that took us under a half hour were $225+ . no loss there bud, let the guy have it for $40. When they call back, rebid for $200+
  19. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    How much help should be given to the competition? The more readily available pricing info is the easier it is for someone else to steal the work. Or have a brand new company reap the benefits of your bidding knowledge?
  20. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    I see your point if you were both charging the same price, but he really doesn't have to in order to make the same profit as you.

    Problem is, this isn't the only business where this is taking place. Because of the economy people are generally shopping by price not quality anymore. As for what he's charging, your last sentence has a lot of irony in it - how can you add a zero to that number when he's literally taking your accounts away from you?

    Not flaming you here.

    Exactly, if he's out there being legit (paying taxes, has insurance) then good for him. Kind of the reason I downgraded my own equipment. Truck is paid for, insurance was cheaper, but I'm keeping the same rates as before so I have a higher profit margin than before.